Semolina Cake with Rosemary Syrup, Anjou Pears and Macerated Stone Fruit
For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 or 9” springform pan and line with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, yogurt and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add the semolina, baking powder, lemon zest and milk and mix together.
Pour in the melted butter and allow to stand for 2 minutes to let the butter absorb. Mix until fully combined and then pour into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
For the Rosemary Syrup
While the cake is baking, prepare the rosemary syrup and the macerated fruit.
Place all the ingredients for the syrup into a small pan over low heat to dissolve the sugar and infuse the syrup with the flavor of the rosemary. Reduce until it’s a bit thicker and has more of the consistency of syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, removing rosemary sprig once cooled.
For the Macerated Fruit
For the macerated fruit combine the apple juice, apricots, figs, cherries, cinnamon stick, cloves, orange zest, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. While the mixture is simmering, peel, core and slice the pears. Stir into the fruit mixture and continue to simmer another 10 minutes until the dried fruit is soft and the pears are translucent. Remove from heat. Lift out the dried fruit. Reduce the liquid if necessary and then combine with fruit. Set aside, allowing to cool to room temperature.
When the cake comes out of the oven, make small holes in the surface with a toothpick and drizzle a small amount of the cooled syrup over the top of cake as desired. Reserve remaining syrup for another use. Allow to cool completely before removing from the springform pan. To serve, remove the cake and serve accompanied by the macerated fruit and (optional) freshly whipped cream.
In Your Glass
The combination of nutty, savory, and sweet in this cake brings lots of enticing wines to mind. A can’t-miss is a French Sauterne. A typical Sauterne is mainly Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The flavors are often those of marmalade, honey, caramel, coconut, mango, ginger, and citrus along with exotic fruit, white flowers, toast, and baking spices. We also think you’ll agree that a glass of Shafer’s fortified red wine, with an unquestionably port-like personality, Firebreak, complements the flavors here equally well.